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14 December 2018

Wayne A

Vendor Wayne

Wayne sells The Big Issue in Adelaide.

I really like Adelaide. I was born in Flinders Medical Centre, and I have mostly lived in the southern suburbs.

I have two sisters, both younger. I don’t see them too often, but we keep in contact via phone or Facebook. I lived with a foster family for most of my childhood and into early adult life, so I also have a foster brother who is three years older than me. I still keep in contact with him a bit, mostly at Christmas and Easter times.

At high school I went through to Year 11. Because of my disability I had to attend different classes. I have an intellectual disability, so that made school hard on a few levels. I used to like maths class, but I also liked the home economics classes because of the cooking. We used to cook meals like lasagne and orange cake. Cooking classes were enjoyable because it wasn’t held in the regular classroom, and because we got to eat the food, of course!

I used to sell The Big Issue a few years ago but I had some time off because I was in prison for a little while. Now I am working really hard to get myself into a good frame of mind and selling The Big Issue helps with this.

I have been going to Community Street Soccer for a while. I take time out between Big Issue pitches to go to street soccer pitch – it’s a highlight of my week. I don’t play, but I know I am doing a good thing by going because I collect the ball when it gets kicked off field. I give Street Soccer 10 out of 10!

I have a cat called Lucky, she is grey and a really good friend, my Lucky. I have only had her for a few months, but we hit it off well. My friend gave me Lucky; she already had her cool name – my friend named her well, I think. I also go to church, started going when I was 18. It’s a big part of my life.

I’m not really saving for anything big, but I got an electricity bill the other day that said I’m in credit – how good is that!? I like to keep on top of my bills, I am careful with my money because I don’t want to be caught short. I have friends who gamble and spend all their money – I try to tell them not to go to the casino. I will look to save up though, so I can go to Melbourne. I would like to go to the MCG; it’s bigger than the Adelaide Oval. I haven’t ever flown in an aeroplane, so I might be a bit nervous, but mostly I think it would be fun.

Pirie Street pitch is my best spot to work because of my regular customers. Some of them take time out to have a chat with me, which makes me feel happy and proud.

I get to enjoy lots of other things because I have a bit more money from selling The Big Issue. The social part is important to me as well. I have lots of Big Issue friends. It’s a really good job – I give selling magazines a 10 out of 10 too.

Photo by Nat Rogers.

Interview by Erica Rees
Wayne sells The Big Issue on Pirie Street, Adelaide.